Why Am I Seeing So Many Medicare Advantage Plan Commercials on TV?
If you have clicked on your TV anytime in the past month, you have probably been inundated with commercials for Medicare Advantage plans. You see the celebrities promising you that the program they endorse is the best, and you have to wonder if you can trust them.
But more than that, you probably wonder why it’s these advantage plans, and not others like Medigap, that get so much attention. The answer might come as a surprise.
What Is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may hear people refer to Medicare Advantage plans as Medicare Part C. Private companies offer these plans, which have to adhere to Medicare guidelines and give subscribers the same coverage as Parts A and B, with additional options. The main difference is that your insurance company will pay your expenses first, not Medicare.
They restrict the amount of out-of-pocket expenses you can incur, and they usually include Part D (drug coverage), too. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have a limit for out-of-pocket expenses and can often get non-emergency, out-of-network care.
Why So Many Advertisements?
The funding for Medicare Advantage plans comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It pays the insurance company for health care costs for each beneficiary, so the more people who sign up for the plans, the more money the insurance companies receive from CMS. That clearly incentivizes the insurance companies to recruit as many people as they can to sign up for the plans.
Medicare Advantage lends itself to easy advertising, too. They often include dental, hearing and vision coverage, which original Medicare does not. Beneficiaries can also receive prescription drug coverage, whereas they usually need to sign up for Part D.
For commercials, that means a lot of things to highlight. The ad can tout the benefits compared to original Medicare and also promise less complexity
of the plan when beneficiaries can get drug coverage without an extra part. Plus, an Advantage plan can even include a gym membership, offering potential enrollees yet another benefit to signing up. All these things are easy to highlight on a 30-second ad.
Speaking to People When They Make Decisions
Most of all, Medicare Advantage plans advertise because they work. If a plan can sign up a celebrity spokesperson and spin out a laundry list of advantages for the program, it would be silly not to try to entice people into signing up. Medicare Advantage has timing and opportunity on its side.
With low or zero premiums, the plans have a lot to offer potential enrollees, and they want to ensure that message gets out as people try to decide what they want to do during open enrollment.
Does that mean an Advantage plan is right for you?
Don’t get drawn in by a commercial because you can’t necessarily trust everything it says. To get an objective assessment of whether you can benefit from a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact Jay. He can discuss your needs with you and help you determine the best plan for your needs.